Phone Attraction or Fatal Distraction?

March 20, 2013 / Michael M. Siegel, MD

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Photo credit: Oprah.com

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a press release regarding the use of mobile devices while driving. Research shows that it is more common in the United States than in Europe with 69 percent of U.S. drivers, between the ages of 18 and 64 years, talking on their cell phones while driving versus 21 percent of drivers in Britain. In addition, the study reported that 31 percent of drivers in the United States sent text messages or emails while driving as opposed to only 15 percent of drivers in Spain.

Obviously, talking or texting while driving is dangerous and can lead to serious injury to yourself and others. Here are some facts to keep in mind next time you reach for your phone while driving.

  • It is estimated that driving while distracted leads to one million accidents per year in the United States
  • Distraction from a cell phone, whether holding it or hands free, can extend your reaction time as much as a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent, which is the legal limit
  • Driving while distracted is a factor in up to 25 percent of police reported accidents
  • Those who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident
  • Distraction leads to 16 percent of all fatal crashes each year in the United States

 

So play it safe! Make your car a no phone zone. Whatever the call or message is, it can never be more important than the safety of you and your passengers as well as others with whom you share the road.

Category: Safety